Chicago bankruptcy attorney Joseph Wrobel is often asked why people chose Chapter 13 bankruptcy. His frequent answer is, “It depends.” After the initial meeting with your bankruptcy attorney you should be advised whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy attorney asks for certain documents and your financial statements, so they can analyze your financial status using the bankruptcy means test. The means test is a rather complicated mathematical process your bankruptcy attorney uses to determine whether your income and finances allow you to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
When most people think about bankruptcy they are thinking about Chapter 7, the full discharge and wipeout of all the bills and debts allowed to be discharged in bankruptcy. You must qualify for Chapter 7 as set forth in the means test your attorney will calculate. If you make too much money, you might not qualify for Chapter 7 discharge and you can use the option of Chapter 13 instead. While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a relatively quick discharge of the qualified debts you can eliminate, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more like a repayment bankruptcy, where you pay back a portion of your debts by making a fixed payment to the bankruptcy trustee once a month for up to five years.
If you have too much equity in your home, have assets of special value like an inherited collector automobile, or simply make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Getting immediate relief from creditors and bill collectors
As soon as either a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy petition is filed, you are protected under the Automatic Stay provision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Automatic Stay is the law that prohibits any of your creditors or collection agencies from making any efforts to contact you during your bankruptcy. If you have a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your creditors cannot call you for the entire term of the bankruptcy, even if it is the entire five-year period while you make monthly payments to the trustee who pays the creditors.
Garnishments are also stopped by the Automatic Stay when you file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. The threat of garnishment alone is enough for many people to decide to file for bankruptcy.
Taking up to five years to repay your debts under a Chapter 13 plan
When people desire time to get caught up on their bills, a five-year Chapter 13 repayment plan can mean financial freedom and peace and quiet when the collectors stop calling. Depending on your finances and the results of your means test, your bankruptcy attorney may be able to get you on a plan where you only repay a portion of your debts.
Keep your home and your car with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Do you have a great interest rate or mortgage deal you don’t want to lose? Chapter 13 allows you to keep your home and your equity while you repay the debts and bills you were otherwise unable to pay. This also applies to your car. If you have car payments, they can be included in the monthly payments to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee over your five-year plan. Of course, if you want a shorter plan, that may be an option for you.
When people find out about the benefits of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, they often wish they had known so long ago. To find out more about Chapter 13, call Joseph Wrobel, Limited.
About us: Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., works with clients to find out if they qualify for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, and their options and rights under the law. The firm will also advise and assist clients with questions and concerns about the collectors and their rights to pursue you.
Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. (312) 781-0996.